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Be prepared – it’s not just a Scout motto

Unless you’ve been living under a proverbial rock, you heard about Toledo’s drinking water crisis, when an algae outbreak right over the city's municipal water intake in Lake Erie led to dangerous levels of toxic microcystins. For two days in early August, Toledo residents were forced to scrounge and pay…

The first rule of talking about nitrogen…

Who cares about nitrogen pollution? Chances are, you do. You just don’t know it yet. Nitrogen as an element is absolutely necessary to life, but as with so many essentials, you can have too much of a good thing. Excess nitrogen – from tailpipes, smokestacks and most seriously from manures…

Toxic algae crisis isn’t over for Lake Erie or the nation

Toledo drinking water ban should be a warning to other cities After a weekend of scrambling to find bottled water for drinking, cooking and other household uses, residents of northwestern Ohio and southwestern Michigan were told Monday that their tapwater is again safe to drink. But for how long? Toxic…

Cracking the (building) code

Most of us assume that a new home—simply because it is new—will be  energy-efficient. I mean, why – with all the energy-saving technologies and know-how out there – would a brand new home NOT be energy-efficient? One reason many new homes aren’t as efficient as they should be is because…

Why the Hobby Lobby decision is bad for everyone

Last week, five members of the Supreme Court (none of them women) decided the religious beliefs of certain corporations outweigh a woman’s right to birth control coverage. Which (as I wrote for the Skoll World Forum) is bad for the thousands of women who work for companies whose owners want…

Making a cool concept warm the heart

Energy efficiency is a concept that can be hard to make heartwarming. Resource Media has had success making it humorous, making it visible and making it practical, but could we make energy efficiency a matter of the heart? One of the unsung heroes of the energy efficiency world is energy…

New California scorecard a call to action on Environmental Justice

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of President Clinton’s executive order on environmental justice, officially known as the Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations a result of Environmental equity grassroots movements of the 1980s. Milestones like this are to be celebrated cautiously,…

Worst jargon contest: And the winner is . . .

“Not in their wheel-house” Congratulations to Beth Vogel, of Committee of Seventy, a century-old nonprofit who fights to help the city of Philadelphia grow and prosper through better government. As she noted in her submission, “I dislike it because it’s annoying and sounds pretentious.” And as one of our judges…

Top 5 newsroom trends from 2013

There is so much going on in the world of news media these days.  From innovations in the business models that sustain it to attempts to harness the technologies that distribute it to evolutions in defining what “it” even is, or isn’t, there were lots of candidates for this list. …

Greatest hits from 2013

Hard to believe, but we sent our first e-newsletter just over a year ago, in November 2012. We have been fine-tuning it ever since, studying email data to see what inspires you, dear readers, to click and share. We also pore over our website analytics to see what kinds of…